Maybe you're expanding your business internationally.
Maybe you want to launch a brand-new business in a foreign market.
Whatever your reasons may be for expanding your business abroad, you'll face unique challenges as a newbie in the market, so it's advisable to prepare for these things in advance.
Here are just a few tips for going global with your company. While this isn't an exhaustive list, it should be enough to understand and utilize the crucial elements while pursuing business overseas.
1. Focus on Localization
Localization is essential for any business, but it's even more critical when you're a foreign brand trying to win over consumers in a different country. A certain amount of adaptation will be needed to fit in with local customs, currencies, taboos, dialects, and lifestyle.
For example, if you're a U.S. business expanding into Australia, you should know right off the bat to use the metric system. A spicy snack labeled "Fahrenheit 100" will be meaningless to them since their temperatures are measured in Celsius.
You should also consider cultural differences when it comes to images and stories. Japan doesn't have a stork myth, so if your baby products are printed with them, the Japanese will think that your brand likes birds. This isn't a world-ending mistake, but it's a perfect example of why localization matters. A little research beforehand would let you know to switch from storks to something else.
2. Know and Understand Foreign Business Regulations
Depending on your country of operation, there might be several rules and regulations to be aware of when conducting business overseas.
Taxes are a significant consideration. On the American side of things, you'll need to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), but there could be files and fees required by the local government as well. You might also run into red tape concerning imports, exports, deliveries, acquisitions, and customs.
Another thing to think about is licensure. You might need special permission from the government to start a business as a non-resident, or you might need to apply for certain visas.
Long story short, you should always do your research on business regulations in the country you are planning to expand your business to.
3. Hire a Professional Translation Service
Several mistakes can be made when you're translating things into a different language. Some gaffes have gone down in history for being terrible and laughable:
- When KFC opened restaurants in China, their tagline "finger-licking good" became "eat your fingers off."
- When the "Got Milk?" campaign went to Latin America, it was translated to "Are You Lactating?"
- When Ford expanded into Belgium, they tried to explain to customers that "every car has a high-quality body." They didn't realize that it was being translated into "every car has a high-quality corpse."
These mistakes are funny to read about, but they had severe repercussions for the companies that had to recall, rebrand, and reissue their products and services. All of it could've been avoided with proper translation services at the helm!
Don't be like the dairy industry. If you're going to a Spanish-speaking country, hire an official Spanish translator like The Spanish Group.
4. Hire an Interpretation Service
Interpretation services are a lot like translation services, and some people use the terms interchangeably. However, there's a big difference when it comes to practical business applications: Interpreters deal with the spoken word while translators deal with the written word.
Interpreters are the ones that you'll want to have on-site during a meeting or conference call. They'll translate in real-time, and they'll work closely with both domestic and foreign parties to help your business succeed on a global level.
If you're serious about making it big in another country, hire both translation and interpretation services. They can come from the same company, but make sure that you have people ready for reading, writing, speaking, and transcribing anything that comes your way.
These are just a few tips for starting a business in another country. As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before you begin stacking bricks on the other side of the world. Feel free to contact us at The Spanish Group if you're looking for an official Spanish translator to help with expansion in Latin America! A member of American Translation Association, you can trust The Spanish Group with accuracy, and quality with the shortest turnaround time.
Reach out to The Spanish Group, today!